Super Smash Bros. Brawl

The box art for Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the best SSB title I've ever seen, and perhaps my favorite game of all time.

Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a game that was developed by Sora and Game Arts, released and published by Nintendo in 2008. The game is the third installment in the Super Smash Bros. series, and the first of the titles released for the Wii. The game is an epic crossover featuring the most popular Nintendo characters and franchises (with the exception of Sonic and Snake), and the main plot is that an evil entity named Tabuu is controlling Master Hand, and along with Ganondorf, Bowser, and Wario, is attempting to turn all of the greatest heroes into trophies, at the same time enveloping their worlds in dark subspace matter to allow his takeover of the entire universe. The heroes must, along the way, realize who their friends and enemies are, and defeat Tabuu before it's too late.

I just got this game for Christmas this past year, after wanting it so badly because I'm a new Nintendo buff and thought the game looked fantastic in every way, which it is. In act, I reviewed this game as a part of my Top 5 favorite reviews blog on Game Ideas Wiki, where it was #1 on the list.

So what things do I like about this game? Pretty much everything.

Some criticize the story of the game as being too dark compared to that of the previous two, and to a certain degree, that is true; but what I liked about the story was the element of depth and heroism that it prides, and the way that instead of the characters just fighting for no apparent reason, they're plunged into this terrible situation, and in fact, they fight among each other a bit out of having no idea who's on their side and who isn't. Plus, I like the way that certain characters would form parties along the way; my favorite of these was probably the one with Mario, Link, Kirby, Pit, and Yoshi. I kind of wish, though, that it had been someone like Fox instead of Yoshi, because that would have been the most epic all-star team of all time!

The graphics on this game are incredible, too. My favorite improvement was the appearance of Link. As I'm sure some of you know by now, I am a huge fan of Twilight Princess, and that remains my favorite representation of Link. This game gives him the exact same air, which is what I really like as far as character design goes. As for the stages, they are one of the greatest things since sliced bread. The Bridge of Eldin was nothing short of stunning, and I plan to do an F-Zero title on Game Ideas Wiki based on the kind of thing you see in Port Town Aero Dive. Geez, it is so awesome.

That reminds me, this is the first SSB title with a Stage Builder function, one which I love so much. It was easy to use (a little-found quality), had a variety of different edit parts, and my favorite part: you can choose the music track that plays on it.

Now about the music; it's probably my new favorite music of all time. So much work went into this music, that it's been said that Brawl was just about the biggest OST production in video game history. I still listen to the Twilight Princess Main Theme and Hyrule Field Theme while I work, and just as I type this, I'm listening to the Delfino Plaza Theme. Plus, who doesn't like the action of Mute City?! In short, the music as already worth the whole price of admission.

This game has some other great Solo functions aside from the Story Mode. It brings back Classic Mode (where you play through 12 stages and two bonus stages to get a trophy, if it's a new character), features All-Star Mode (where you can play a short round against each of 36 characters in the game, some simultaneously), and has an Events area where you can play Target Smash, Boss Battles, Home-Run Contest, and cool scenarios where you're put in a certain poetic decision and have to achieve a pre-set goal, sometimes even unlocking things by doing so.

However, I'm kind of beating around the bush with this. Brawl is more than anything about knock-down, drag-out fighting like animals. They do an excellent job with this here. The controls on all the characters, while complicated, are nothing short of fantastic, especially the Falcon Punch, which is what defines Captain Falcon. The game is crazy fun when played with more than one person, and that's what makes it such a great game to whip out at parties. However, a couple of things I want to point out are that the game still has clone characters and cloned moves, which can kind of be fun-killing, and there are a couple of moveset errors I think they made. For example, they should have made adult Link's spin attack a single spin, because it has the same effect as what they did, and his side-air attack should have been his famed jump attack as least part of the time. Plus, Mario's Cape Swing should do more damage in general.

This game also has a WFC function, but I wouldn't really recommend it, because I've tried it a few times and the lag is too noticeable. Even at its best, I get thrown off early on because the movements are out of sync with my button-pushing. If you try and like it, however, good for you.

Now for another menu fave of mine: the Vault. The Vault is a place where you can go to view trophies, look at your sticker collection, build stages, look at pictures you've taken in Group or Story Mode (more on that later), watch brawl replays, and one of my favorites: play Masterpieces. See, since Brawl is the most massive Nintendo crossover yet, they decided to show the origins of certain characters by adding in demos for VC games like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of Zelda, Kirby's Adventure, etc. However, I do kind of agree with the game reviewer Kwing that they would have been better off adding demos to the Wii Shop Channel and spending more time on improving gameplay functions.

Speaking of which, there are a couple of nitpicks I have with the game aside from a couple of attacks, but barely any. First of all, Toad should have been in this game. Believe me, I love this game completely, but I love Toad just as much, and he is now a bona fide part of the Mario crew, so he should have been more than a dumb counterattack for Peach. You know who else should have absolutely been playable? Miis. Playing as your Mii would have added a whole new dynamic to the game.

Second, I think there should have been the ability to change around dual characters, like Samus and Zero Suit Samus, so that they'd start the match a certain way, without the need to play as one of them. There weren't many characters like that, but now that I think of it, it would have been fun if there were some optional skins for some characters, like Link and Classic Link.

The last thing I have is more of a personal preference than anything, but I thought I'd mention it. The game has a Team Battle function whereby up to four characters (who can be a mix of computers and human players if you want) can play in teams against each other to see who wins. The game makes available a red team, green team, and blue team. However, if you change a character to a certain team, their palette swap automatically changes to that color. I just thought it could have a cooler effect if the characters could be on the same team, but be in their original costumes at the same time; that is, the team colors could just be symbolic, and the palette colors could be changed to whatever. Still, that's just my opinion.

Those things are the only issues I have with the game at all. It is truly fantastic, fun to play with friends, family, at a party, or by yourself. There are so many gameplay options it's stupid, and I have an enormously fun time with it to this day. Five months in a row so far, and it still hasn't gotten old at all. If you have played any previous SSB title and enjoyed it, get this one, because it is the best in the series, I think, and everyone you know will love it.

By the way, congratulate me on my 50TH REVIEW! Oh yeah! (I hope to do many, many more!)